Magnetic order and fluctuations in quasi-two-dimensional planar magnet Sr(Co$_{1-x}$Ni$_x$)$_2$As$_2$

Research paper by Yaofeng Xie, Yu Li, Zhiping Yin, Rui Zhang, Weiyi Wang, Matthew B. Stone, Huibo Cao, D. L. Abernathy, Leland Harriger, David P. Young, J. F. DiTusa, Pengcheng Dai

Indexed on: 11 Dec '20Published on: 07 Dec '20Published in: arXiv - Physics - Strongly Correlated Electrons


We use neutron scattering to investigate spin excitations in Sr(Co$_{1-x}$Ni$_{x})_2$As$_2$, which has a $c$-axis incommensurate helical structure of the two-dimensional (2D) in-plane ferromagnetic (FM) ordered layers for $0.013\leq x \leq 0.25$. By comparing the wave vector and energy dependent spin excitations in helical ordered Sr(Co$_{0.9}$Ni$_{0.1}$)$_2$As$_2$ and paramagnetic SrCo$_2$As$_2$, we find that Ni-doping, while increasing lattice disorder in Sr(Co$_{1-x}$Ni$_{x})_2$As$_2$, enhances quasi-2D FM spin fluctuations. However, our band structure calculations within the combined density functional theory and dynamic mean field theory (DFT+DMFT) failed to generate a correct incommensurate wave vector for the observed helical order from nested Fermi surfaces. Since transport measurements reveal increased in-plane and $c$-axis electrical resistivity with increasing Ni-doping and associated lattice disorder, we conclude that the helical magnetic order in Sr(Co$_{1-x}$Ni$_{x})_2$As$_2$ may arise from a quantum order-by-disorder mechanism through the itinerant electron mediated Ruderman-Kittel-Kasuya-Yosida (RKKY) interactions.